What an Advertise-Meant?

my take on the latest Indian advertisements             

Bournville Dark Chocolate ‘TV Anchor’ Ad

with 18 comments

{Double click to view larger video}

Tagline: “You don’t just buy a Bournville, you earn it”

Agency: O & M

Duration: 55 seconds

First seen: December ’08

Ad Message: Re-introducing the dark chocolate brand ‘Bournville’ from Cadburys stable

Target Audience: SEC A Higher income group (25+ years)

Frequency: Medium

Description: The ad begins with a TV anchor (played by Brett Stimely) getting ready for his shot as he looks into the camera and says “Hello, today I am in the lovely town of Bournville, holding a Bournville, made in Bournville. Now they have a tradition here that you are supposed to open it gently, listen to the snap, take in the aroma. But before you can eat it, you have to ask yourself “Have you earned it?” Well, back in the day the old chaps had to beat the French at the war or the Aussies in cricket before they could enjoy it.” He goes on to scorn the tradition as – “British mumbo-jumbo! Have I earned it? No!!! But I am going to eat it anyway”.  And just as he is about to take his ‘un-earned’ bite, a huge scary bird plucks him and takes him away. What follows are shots of the dark chocolate and the TV host wrapped in bandages surrounded by the armed locals while the host voices – “Made from precious Ghanaian cocoa, comes a dark chocolate so fine, legend has it and I have learned you don’t just buy a Bournville, you earn it.”

[Caution: Strictly opinionated comments follow]

This one has several things going for it. For starters, the ad has a fresh idea suitably backed by a fresh execution. [Well ok, the making-a-tradition-out-of-eating-the-chocolate reminded me somewhat of the really old KitKat spots where you take out the bar, swipe your finger through the inner wrapper, snap and so on…] But still, the high-handed claim that you have to ‘earn this Bournville’ goes well with this premium dark chocolate offering (priced @ Rs. 75) primarily targeted towards SEC A.

The situation uses both drama and humor to convey that taking this chocolate ‘lightly’ (pun intended) can be risky business thereby creating a certain aura around the brand. Moreover, I very much liked the emphasis on the brand “Bournville” and the fact that you rarely lose sight of the chocolate throughout the ad.  For a change, someone cares about the product to be sold.

As for what I didn’t like so much – the rather British-looking actor and British-sounding script I would say. I mean, till the time I read this article and heard him scoff the ‘British mumbo-jumbo’, I didn’t correlate that he is supposed to be an non-British (rather American) anchor. If that is the case, they should have ‘American- ised’ the look and script of the actor much more to avoid sending mixed signals.

Apart from the tv ad, they also have a dedicated website and a print version of the ad – but again there seems to be little connect between the three versions! So while the website, impressively done in Flash, takes you through an interactive journey of the chocolate-making-process; the print ad talks about how this chocolate is the food of the gods and the upper management. Maybe they could use the same TV anchor for taking you through the online journey as well and so on to enhance recall.

Still shines bright this dark chocolate!


  Weight Rating W * R
Idea/Innovation/Creativity 15 7 105
Storyline/Screenplay 10 7 70
Music/Jingle 10 6 60
Cinematography 5 7.5 37.5
Acting 5 5 25
Duration vs Impact 5 6 30
Cost vs Impact 5 7 35
Recall     0
Brand Recall 10 8 80
Ad Memorability 5 7 35
Tagline  7.5 7 52.5
Product Association 5 7 35
Target Audience Connect 7.5 7 52.5
Entertainment 5 8 40
Claim 2.5 7 17.5
Emotional Appeal 2.5 5 12.5
Total 100   688

Weighted Average Rating: 688/100 = 6.88 (on a scale of 10)

How do you rate this one – 


Written by AsMi

January 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm

18 Responses

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  1. i was indeed expecting your take on this ad, since i saw it on tv. Its an exceptionally creative ad with all the right things thrown in. And regard to the anchor
    “– the rather British-looking actor and British-sounding script I would say. I mean, till the time he says ‘British mumbo-jumbo’ I didn’t realize he is supposed to be an American anchor.”

    I dont think he is supposed to be an american anchor, he has been indeed protrayed as a british. the actor looks british, british sounding script, more of a british attire and talks in an british accent. the use of ‘british mumbo-jumbo’ doesnt mean that he is not british. he can very well talk about nuances of britishers.

    he wasnt supposed to be american atall, what i want to know is that was this ad made by the indian counterparts of O&M.


    January 9, 2009 at 5:50 am

    • @maya: thanks for watching this space, appreciate your honest feedback very much! As for the ‘British Anchor’ mystery, I am sorry I was still in the middle of updating the post and justifying my take on the same. Basically, if you read the agency’s ‘official’ comments in the article I have now linked to – he IS supposed to be an American. Also, even if you leave the article aside, I found it hard to believe that a Britisher (world-famous for their snobbish attitude) would scorn at their own tradition.

      And yes, this was made by the Indian counterparts of O & M.


      January 9, 2009 at 6:13 am

  2. British… American… All said and done, i would like all to try the product. It is the very best chocolate and trust me with that in your mouth…all else will melt away!


    January 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

  3. ……mmmmmmmmm ! Advertisement is good. But I thorougly dislike the product.. apni apni pasand hi.. ! Good analysis. I would like to suggest that Brits love food. We find.. ‘Come in, Try our Heavenly Ice Cream!’ bill boards across the street quite often. I always liked the adjs.


    January 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    • @Vipul: Good for you!

      @Sujata: Well, can’t blame the ad in that case 🙂 If it piqued you enough to try out the chocolate, it’s as effective as it gets!


      January 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm

  4. Yeah but he DOES look like an American
    I mean the colors he’s wearing are loud – Red and Blue, I ask you?, not to mention the accent and the whole bulldozing attitude makes him a dead giveaway as American.

    Love the ad tho!


    January 13, 2009 at 6:12 am

    • @krystalmage: Hmmf, I always thought that Britishers were the snobbish ones. But great to hear that you could identify the anchor as American, I would be happy to be wrong as this is definitely one of the better ads in recent times.


      January 13, 2009 at 1:10 pm

  5. i think he is irish


    January 13, 2009 at 11:36 pm

  6. The execution of the Ad could have been a lot better..
    1. with an Indian setup.. a script with some1 from the Royal family.. or some1 like Mr. Pataudi.. or a Kapil Dev.. could be a better option
    2. the ad takes you up thr wen it says you need to earn it.. but then all tat crash lands with the kinda climax used..


    January 14, 2009 at 2:59 pm

  7. I don’t know Sandy, personally I think it was evry effective. They wanted to portray the brand as something legendary so they took us to the “home” of Bournville and put a nice story in to keep viewer interest high.

    It may have worked with an Indian setup but I don’t if it would be as effective. The pricing of the brand doesn’t imply that they’re looking at mass sales. It’s a specific audience they catering to, people who would appreciate the use of the foreign anchor and the humour behind it.


    January 16, 2009 at 6:40 am

  8. Common guys,
    he has to be a British, wheres the confusion…
    he clearly says that “beat Aussies in cricket before they could enjoy it.”
    isnt it very clear there???


    January 29, 2009 at 10:28 am

  9. Shekhar, he’s mentioning a “British” idiosyncrasy. Simply knowing that the English are batty about defeating the Aussies at cricket does not make him British. His accent gives him away as American plus his comment about it being a “Stupid English superstition”.

    I man Indians are just as crazy about beating the Aussies at cricket. It doesn’t make us Brits though!


    January 29, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    • @shekhar, krystalmage: really enjoyed your comments on this debate, goes to show that my doubts about the anchor’s nationality are not entirely unreasonable.


      February 4, 2009 at 5:06 pm

  10. “back in the day the old chaps had to beat the French at the war”
    I am bad at history but can see number of wars between Britan and France http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wars_involving_England_and_France

    @Krystalimage couldnt find much about America and France wars


    February 5, 2009 at 6:45 am

  11. Good lord….

    @Shekhar – The man is calling Brits “old chaps”. He’s an American anchor who is trying to make this seem as familiar as possible for his audience. And didn’t you notice the slightly dramatic tone he takes when talking about Bournville. It’s because he’s shown as an irreverent “Ugly American” who has no concern for the traditions of a small British town but who is taught a lesson by the legend they all respect.

    Gawd it’s so maddeningly obvious.


    February 5, 2009 at 12:05 pm

  12. if it was maddingly obvious then we wudnt had this long discussions


    February 13, 2009 at 9:15 am

  13. Ok shekhar, krystalmage: Much as I am enjoying your discussion, let me step in now and say that you’re both right. And I really mean it, because even though exceptionally well-informed people like krystalmage would immediately figure out that the anchor is British, people like I and shekhar would be less convinced about it.

    Totally agree with shekhar’s last comment. The very fact that we are haggling over it, justifies that the execution/characterization of the anchor could’ve been better.


    February 13, 2009 at 9:43 am

  14. what a boring ad


    March 18, 2009 at 11:25 am

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